Sunday Service: Practicing the Prayer of Quiet

Week of May 10 – 16, 2015

This week we bring you a spiritual talk from our archives. We’ve published or reprinted so many spiritual talks over the years, sometimes it is good to go back and reprint some of the earlier work; this site is too deep to fully explore, so many gems can get lost or overlooked.

It is worth noting that we also have pages devoted to faiths other than Vedanta that highlight spiritual talks we have delivered in the context of those faiths. These pages include Christianity, Buddhism and Islam right now. All of our talks are in the context of Vedantic truth, of course, but these pages help bridge the gap between religions and share truth that otherwise go unnoticed in the Vedanta tradition.

So here you go.

Enjoy, and happy Sunday! Peace be unto you. Peace be unto all.

Yours in service,


This Week’s Spiritual Talk

Practicing the Prayer of Quiet


By: Saint Teresa of Avila

For minds that wander it is of great importance not only to have a right belief but to try to learn it by experience, for this is one of the very best ways of concentrating your thoughts.

You know that God is everywhere. This is a great truth, for wherever God is, there is Heaven. You can believe that in any place where our Lord resides, there is fullness of glory.

Recall that Saint Augustine tells us about his seeking God in many places and eventually finding him within himself. A soul that is often distracted needs to understand this truth, for in order to speak to its Eternal Father and to take its delight in Him, it has no need to go to Heaven or to speak in a loud voice. No matter how quietly we speak, He is so near that He will hear us. We do not need wings to search for Him. We only need to find a place where we can be alone and look upon Him present within us.

We don’t need to feel strange in the presence of such a kind Guest. We must talk very humbly to Him, as we should to our father—ask Him for things as we should as a father, tell Him our troubles, beg Him to correct them, and realize that we are not worthy to be called His children.

Do not confuse modesty with God as humility. You would not be humble if God were to do you a favor and you refused to accept it. You would be showing humility by accepting it, being pleased with it, yet realizing how far you are from deserving it. A fine humility it would be if I had the Emperor of Heaven and earth in my house, coming to it to do me a favor, and I were so humble that I would not answer His questions, sit with Him or accept what He gave me, but left Him alone.

Rather than having that kind of humility, speak to Him as with a Father, a Brother, a Lord, and a Spouse. He will teach you what you need to do to speak to Him. Do not be foolish. Ask Him to let you speak to Him. Remember how important it is to understand that the Lord is within us and that we should be there with Him.

If you pray in this way, the prayer may be only vocal, but the mind will enter into the prayer much sooner. This is a prayer that brings a thousand blessings with it. It is called recollection because the soul collects all the faculties together and enters within itself to be with its God. Its Divine Master comes more speedily to teach it and to grant it the Prayer of Quiet. Hidden there within itself, it can think about the Passion and picture the Son without tiring the mind by going to seek Him on Calvary, or in the Garden, or on the Cross.


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videoVedanta Television

American Vedanta on YouTube

Finding lasting happiness. Applying the Bhagavad Gita to daily life. Learning about the history of Vedanta in the U.S. These are some of the topics covered at American Vedanta’s YouTube channel. We curate a list of spiritual videos that will help advance your spirituality and expand your mind. When wanting spiritual videos, give our YouTube channel a look.

We also recommend other resources such as Booksaudio lectures and web sites, among other resources.


Spiritual Fitness

Do You have a Spiritual Routine?

Vedanta, if not practical, has no other relevancy. The key to practical Vedanta is an individualized spiritual routine.

There are six components of a good spiritual routine.

Swan1. Find a Community. If you have an existing church, temple or mosque, attend regularly. If not, join our Facebook group and see our list of recommended spiritual organizations.

2. Seek Guidance. Find a mentor within your existing spiritual community or contact us for a referral.

3. Attend Spiritual Services Regularly. If you don’t live near an appropriate spiritual community, we offer a weekly spiritual talk delivered by email, Facebook and Twitter. We also host a regular Vedanta Dinner for those who live in the New York City area.

4. Incorporate Individual Study. We keep a list of books and resources for your individual study needs.

5. Take Responsibility for Your Spiritual Life. Read our talk about listening to your own inner compass and contact us when you have a question that your spiritual community isn’t answering adequately.

6. Leverage Rituals Thoughtfully. As an example, read our essay about the power of saying grace.

Our longer talk about spiritual routine can be found here.

Happy Sunday! Peace be unto you. Peace be unto all.

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